@ 07:37 pm (GMT)
Bryan WebsterReflecting on the content of this thread so far, it seems to me that Warwick's idea of the 35 Whelen would be the rifle for you. Recoil is not bad at all, and the cartridge results in drop at the shot capacity if you do your part.
I once owned one in a featherweight Husqvarna. I was on the job with a large problem grizzly bear and had to shoot it at 30 feet head on. The bullet went in its throat and left an exit hole just below the tail at the far end. He just dropped on the spot. Was the heaviest Speer bullet I could load for it at the time around 25 years ago.
A moose I shot the same fall that year was quartering away and I held for a heart shot. The bullet exited the opposite side with a clean hole of around 2 inches diameter. Lungs and heart were pretty messed up but there was nearly no meat lost. It dropped on the spot and as it had been running through thick brush, broke several tines off of the right antler that stopped it from the minimum for the B&C record book.
Recoil from that rifle never bothered me at all compared to me Pre 1964 M70 in 30/06 that I owned at the time. The steel butt plate was hard on my shoulder at times, while the 35 Whelen rifle had a decent soft butt pad.
I sold that Whelen several years later to one of our Conservation Officers, who shot a big bull moose facing him head on at about 80 yards. He said it dropped immediately and the bullet travelled its entire length and exited. Quite a cleanup job there. He was far more fussy about choosing his shots after that and still owns and loves that rifle.